There are plenty of downsides to long distance relationships, as most people know. There’s plenty of articles on the difficulties of making one work, but I’m here to talk about the positives and how my long distance relationship opened up the doors to the world and turned me into a travel addict. I met my
boyfriend fiancé when he was visiting Canada for a 3-month ski instructor training course. He’s British and I’m Canadian. Neither of us really thought it was going to last but when it came time for him to go home, we decided we’d try to make it work. 4 years almost 6 years and 17 different countries later I’m proud to say it was definitely worth it – not only have I found my best friend and soul mate but the best travel buddy I could ever hope for.
1. I went somewhere I’d never thought about going
I knew I was going to travel someday but Europe was definitely bottom of my list. I was more intrigued by places like South East Asia and Australia, which I thought to be more “exotic” than Paris or Edinburgh. Meeting Rob made it inevitable that I’d be booking a flight to see him in his hometown of London and as it turns out, Europe is now one of my favorite places. I love the culture, the food, the fashion and most of all I love how easy it is to hop on a train, boat or plane and be in a different country in a matter of hours. I probably would never have seen all these beautiful castles, architecture and landscapes if it wasn’t for him.
2. Booking flights and traveling was my priority
Wanting to see Rob became a priority of mine and in other words, so did traveling. All my money, time and effort went into planning trips to see him, go on road trips when he came to see me, or planning a rendezvous with him abroad. I spent less on clothes, food and unnecessary expenses like partying and drinking. Even now that we live in the same country, those lifestyle changes have become permanent and are a huge part of how I’m able to travel with him now.
3. Having a good travel buddy was (and is!) priceless
They say that you shouldn’t marry someone unless you’ve traveled with them and I believe this is very true. It is HARD to travel with people; the stress of a foreign environment, multiple unknowns and the need to stay on your toes and plan your trip well can lead to nerves and fighting. I know my experiences have proven this to be true, as I’ve had multiple fall outs while traveling with friends. It’s inevitable. So when you find a good travel buddy, whether it be a friend or a partner… hold onto them! They’re rare and valuable 🙂
Rob is amazing to travel with because our personalities are like yin and yang and we completely balance each other out. I won’t get into the details because that’s a whole different story, but we work together and I’m glad. A huge bonus is that he is extremely easygoing, adventurous and supportive of me. When I chose to do a semester overseas in Hong Kong instead of being closer to him in Copenhagen he was 100% behind my decision and even came out to live with me in Asia when his semester was over.
Traveling also becomes easier with a good partner because we can literally book a last minute trip when we see a good sale without the logistics and planning that it takes to coordinate a trip with friends.
4. My global network expanded
There’s nothing better for a traveler than knowing friends around the world. Having a local tour guide is priceless because time is a precious commodity when you’re on holiday. Between the two of us, we probably have a friend or two in most countries, and definitely on every continent. I can’t tell you how awesome it is to be able to meet locals, get the best recommendations and occasionally have a free place to crash.
5. Fewer Language Barriers
Never underestimate how important knowing a few key phrases is when you’re in a foreign country. Being able to communicate with locals is super important and they definitely appreciate the effort even though your pronunciation might not be quite right. Both of us are lucky enough to speak different languages (he knows German and French and I know Cantonese and Mandarin). It’s definitely made our travels easier and has opened up the door to opportunities for us.
There are so many reasons why having a long distance relationship was awesome for us, even though every day apart sucked hard. Probably the best part of being in a long distance relationship, is surviving it, and being a stronger couple as a result.
If you’re reading this and you’re going through hell right now (which for the most part, long distance is), know that there are people out there that understand what you’re going through, and that if you make it you’ll be one of the strongest couples out there!
Louise Tee- Travel blogger, adventurer, entrepreneur. Bachelor of Commerce, International Business. Find me on Instagram @wzylouisey.